The ferry Malaspina is being pulled out of service in December, and it’s not clear when it will return.
The 56-year-old Alaska Marine Highway System vessel will be stored in Ketchikan this January for an “unmanned, long-term layup,” according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
The ferry was scheduled for an overhaul over the winter, but an inspection showed it needs extensive steel replacement. Repairs are expected to cost about $16 million.
“… This is in excess of the available budget and cannot be completed at this time,” wrote Department of Transportation spokesperson Meadow Bailey in an email.
Bailey wrote that there won’t be any impact to the current sailing schedule. DOT hasn’t made any long-term decisions about the future of the vessel.